I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Choices I regretted instantly (cutting my own bangs, always), or later, after maybe seeing old photos (a tongue piercing, Christi, really?). One of my more recent mistakes — or let’s be kind, questionable choices — was last summer, when I decided the one thing missing from my house was another mouth to feed, preferably male. I mean, why not? I already live with 3 creatures so unlike me I’m not really sure how the human race continues on, let’s add one more, but this time, with fur.
Yes, we (and be “we” I mean pretty much me in some sort of last-tick-of-my-biological-clock-addled brain) adopted a little baby kitten, a black and white and gray fluff ball with big green eyes and a tiny little “mew” that was going to be the missing piece to our almost perfect family. I envisioned bringing him in, all shy and oozing with cuteness, and my boys falling in love. The little rapscallions would frolic and play, with Baby Kitty chasing their shoe laces and falling asleep on their chests in bed. He would be their little buddy, and looking back on their childhood, they would remember fondly the adventures they had as they all grew together into adults. And like always, none of my dreams came true. The cat, named Tiny Tiger by the boys — and this was the actual last thing they did to take care of him to date — was a very typical kitten, and I kinda forgot that I think kittens are the worst. I KNOW, kick me off this planet. Listen, I love cats. We have an 11-year-old cat named Dot that I’d give a kidney to, even if she just wanted to eat it. But we got her when she was almost 1, and she’s awesome and was never annoying. Any other cat I’ve had, I got when they were past the kitten phase, as well. I mean, sure, they are tiny and cute. But they destroy everything and are kind of heartless beasts that I think would try to kill you if they weren’t incapable. So fast forward 15 months, and Tiny Tiger is now called that ironically, because surprise! He’s a Maine Coon, which means he’s enormous and has all of the fur. All of it. And he still kinda thinks he’s a kitten, so he tries to jump onto tiny spaces (and fails), and my couch is in shreds, as were my curtains that I had to replace. His favorite thing, for reasons unknown to me, is my makeup bag, so every morning, we have a battle of blush brushes, which I admire but also hate. Dot, my beloved only sister in the house, hates his guts, and therefore ours as well. He torments the living SHIT out of her and is now bigger than her and she’s like “for 10 years, I’ve kept your lap warm and never brought you dead animals and you give me this? Sleep with one eye open.”
The boys also don’t seem to care at all for the cat, and I pretty much get asked on the regular “can we get a dog when they die?” so that part of the plan worked out beautifully. They destroy or play with the toys I’ve bought for the cat in hopes he’d leave the rest of the house alone (spoiler alert: he didn’t), never feed him unless threatened with death, or worse, loss of Minecraft, and get scratched by him on the regular because they are all feral. Anyway, Tiny Tiger is a part of the family now, even if his nickname is “YOU PIECE OF SHIT GET DOWN FROM THERE” and we love him in the way you love a goiter or racist uncle. So naturally, he just put us in the poor house because of a medical emergency. Without getting too technical (and you will thank me for this if you knew what I knew about cat anatomy right now), male cats can have issues peeing. Something something urethra something something filter the pee something something a lot of money. Tiny Tiger came down with the issue, and after 3 weeks of medicine, he was in bad shape. Of course, this occurred on Labor Day weekend, so our only option was the animal ER, where the cover charge to get in is more than my entire wardrobe. After an examination and a mild bout of hyperventilation, it was decided that Tiny Tiger needed surgery ASAP. On his penis. And this surgery would basically take away said penis and Tiny Tiger would come home less Bruce, more Caitlyn. Now, make all the jokes you want, but we are an Ally Family, and we love and accept anyone on their journey to be their true self. But I didn’t really plan on dealing with a transgender cat, and yet here we are. So after taking out 4 mortgages on my house and the future houses of my children, Tiny Tiger had his surgery, and that included one small incident during it that led to another surgery that led to him needing a catheter for 10-14 days. And most of those days would be spent at home. I’m thinking, he’s a cat, so what? Like a ziploc bag and a straw basically. LOL nope. This cat came home after 4 days with 4 feet of tubing coming out of him, and a human-sized urine bag attached. Oh and a cone of shame,. We got him out of the cat carrier, and I panicked. How in the HELL was this supposed to work?? I spent the next 15 minutes chasing around a cat that can’t see past his own nose with a twist tie from a bread bag in the attempt to shorten his tubing. Shockingly, that was not effective. Within 2 hours of being home, he had chewed through the string on his cone and was trapped under my bed with the catheter tangled around my bed posts. NOT AN IDEAL SITUATION. Luckily, the hospital was willing to take him back in for his convalescent period at a VERY discounted rate, since it was kinda their fault we were in this particular catheter mess to begin with, and after 10 days, he’s back home. We are still dealing with the cone of shame, he’s got a grocery bag full of meds and he now has a vulva, but hey, at least he’s home. And you would think after nearly 2 weeks away and major surgery, the members of our family would have missed him. But you would be wrong. Our loving sons never asked about him once, and Dot I think is plotting our murder.
So I guess no matter how annoying he is, we are now literally invested in Tiny Tiger. He’s ours forever, and he better live forever in perfect health. Like, literally, he better be at my deathbed, annoying the shit out of me as I take my dying breath. He owes me that. And a new couch. And all of my money.